This is my take on what rewilding the arts means to me. I wrote this for Rewild the Arts . The original can be found here.


Spear Thistle, Stephen Pritchard, Black Biro, 2018.


The nation and many Western countries have successfully suppressed, oppressed and controlled our arts and our cultures: narrowly defining and policing terms and practices, building brick and glass citadels for a wealthy minority and a false vision of economic growth, and creating a hierarchy which places artists as servants and denigrates many working-class communities as “hard to reach” and uncultured.
The privileged few have grown arts and culture as pretty, inoffensive cultivars, kept safe behind their walled gardens and pseudo-Victorian values. Artists are, if lucky, considered as gardeners, cultural managers as gamekeepers. This system is one of enclosure and subjugation. It is unnatural. It is (at least in the sense in which its is our cultures that make us human) inhuman.
Re-wilding our arts practices and our cultural lives means, for me at least, “uncultivating” our communities and our minds, freeing ourselves from the shackles of institutionalism and the enclosures thrown up by a colonising art world to be truly human and more at one with nature.
We are weeds and, whilst we can thrive anywhere, we are happiest outside their nurseries, orangeries, and walled “paradises”. Let us seed art and cultures everywhere so we can all grow and share our creativity and humanity freely, together.
So, let’s start re-wilding the arts.
And let’s start NOW!

1 thought on “REWILDING THE ARTS

  1. Melvyn Douglas Broadbelt says:

    I agree with every word and fortunately realised I also understood everything that was being said ( which isn’t always so when wading through the private language of Academia).
    However knowing it isn’t right and being able to correct it or redirect, down more inclusive avenues for the benefit of all , requires a paradigm shift in belief systems in all strata of our very hierarchical society. Power, entrenched power of the ever present, ever mysterious they, allows access to and control of the ‘ purse strings’. That which is available to small scale : supposedly hard to reach communities, allowing local culture to acquire legitimacy are but financial crumbs which is still controlled by them.

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